The LHS Math Team Looks to MAML for Wins and Accessibility for All

Angela Tang and Jolene Cai

In October, thousands of high school students across Massachusetts took the Massachusetts Association of Mathematics League Competition (MAML).

The competition has two levels. Level one consists of 30 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 90 minutes. Upon completion, the top 200 scorers are eligible for level two, consisting of seven multi-part proof questions that must be completed within three hours. The top 20 scorers of level two receive cash prizes ranging from $50 to $250. 

However, it takes significant preparation to make it to level two. Preparation is mostly done alone, as the MAML format is focused on individual rather than team performance.

“I expect individual team members to prepare on their own…but to add on to that, we’re going to do a lot of team practices during math team, and the captains are going to probably try to plan [practices] outside of math team,” Jeff Lin, senior captain of Lexington High School’s Math Team, said. 

But the MAML is a very accessible competition for high schoolers, requiring students to fill out just one sign-up form to participate. Its format is also easier to adjust to for students new to math competitions.

Furthermore, LHS has regularly achieved competitive success in past years, with many students moving to level two and winning first place during the 2022 MAML State Meet.  

“In past results, we’ve definitely done pretty well, and I think that this time we definitely will have something pretty similar… the math team this year is quite strong,” Lin said. “I hope we can win some competition… That’s the goal.”

This year’s math team also hopes to achieve many other goals.

“Our general goals are around the same as before: make sure people are having fun [and] trying different things,” Kira Tang, another student captain, said. 

Tang’s personal goal is for math teams to become more accessible to people of different skill levels

“It’s a balance of [the team] being a chill space to hang out…we don’t want people to be comparing each other a lot… the culture of comparison often breaks down a lot of goals and rules of the community. I really hope that this year we are able to create a culture where people feel comfortable working together, like a collaborative space,” Tang said. 

Overall, Tang highlights MAML’s ability to give students interested in math competitions an opportunity to showcase their talents and learn from others.

“Me, personally, I’ve gone on this long journey and I definitely see that I want to help anyone regardless of where they are in the process to feel comfortable and happy to learn more,” Tang said.